W. B. Smith Jr., Dec. 10, 1923 — Aug. 11, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 | 4:11 p.m. CDT; updated 5:15 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 13, 2013

W. B Smith Jr. (Bill), 89, of Columbia, passed away August 11, 2013.

He was born December 10, 1923 in Kansas City, Missouri to the late Mabel (Dothage) and William B. Smith Sr. The family moved to Columbia when Bill was two years old. He graduated from University High School.

Bill enlisted in the United States Navy as a pilot during WWII. After the war ended, he returned to work at Smith Hatchery. While working at the hatchery, he graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in Agriculture. Bill played football at MU until a shoulder injury sidelined him. He met his future wife, Irene VanOtteran, in college, and they were married September 2, 1949. He built the first ranch house in Columbia on North Greenwood.

He taught Agriculture courses in area community colleges and continued his work at Smith Hatchery. Every Easter, Smith Hatchery provided all the kindergarteners in town a dyed chick.

In 1957, Bill opened Smith Feed Mill, its location to be shared with Smith Hatchery years later. In addition, he also operated a poultry business, raising not only chickens and turkeys, but hogs and cattle as well. He later sold the business in 2006.

Joining the Cosmopolitan Club in 1958, Bill had perfect attendance and enjoyed lending a helping hand during many events including: Pancake days, Fourth of July BBQs, and weekly bingo.

There will be a visitation on Saturday, August 17, 2013 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Memorial Funeral Home, with funeral service at 11:00 am. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Bill is survived by his children: Sandy McCann of Columbia, MO, Peggy and David Hodges of Gulf Breeze, FL, Marty and Mary Smith of Columbia, Judy Dwyer of Columbia, and Greg and Maree Smith of Dallas, TX; his grandchildren: Lori and Jesse Willis of Wellsburg, IA, Bryan and Tracy Hodges of Gulf Breeze, FL, Nicole Dwyer of Kansas City, MO, Brett Dwyer, Tyler Smith both of Columbia, Sommer Smith and April Smith both of Dallas, TX; great grandchildren: Kylie, Wesley and Carlie Willis of Wellsburg, IA and Brayden Hodges of Gulf Breeze, FL.

He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, and sisters, Helen Jacobs Stone and Dorothy Bea.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Online condolences may be left at

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